By Kristen Miller
PLYMOUTH, MN After a somewhat unexpected trip to New York City last winter, Cokato native Lavona Keskey has completed one of her newest Courage Cards, depicting Rockefeller Center.
Keskey has been sharing her watercolor paintings with the Courage Center, a non-profit rehabilitation and resource center in Minneapolis, for three years.
This year, she introduced two new cards to the Courage Card collection: “Rockefeller Center Skaters” and “Skating Memories.”
For “Rockefeller Center Skaters,” Keskey tried to paint the “bigness of the city,” she said, adding she felt like an ant while visiting New York City last year.
When Keskey was asked to paint Rockefeller Center for Courage Cards, she was surprised to be offered by her neighbor who happened to be a flight attendant to be flown out to New York City last year.
When she captured the photo that would be the inspiration for her painting, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was not yet up and decorated she would paint that in later but the skaters were, with the consideration of three.
As in her painting “Winter Fun,” of ice skaters near the Lake of the Isle bridge in Minneapolis, Keskey added three of her favorite people, her nieces Linda and Jane Keskey, and nephew, Scott. They are painted in the bottom left of the Rockefeller painting.
The second card in the 2009 collection is “Skating Memories,” which was specially painted for Don Kariniemi, a neighbor to Keskey in Plymouth.
It’s a painting of him and his friends as youngsters playing a game of pond hockey.
The Courage Center liked the winter scene so much it asked to use it in its holiday card collection, Keskey explained.
Keskey is already working on next year’s Courage Card of the Landmark Center in St. Paul.
Keskey has also painted “Remembering a Cokato Christmas,” a recollection of sorts of Cokato from when she was a little girl.
Prints, cards, and magnets of “Remembering a Cokato Christmas” can be purchased at Chuck’s Floral in Cokato.
Christmas greeting cards done by Keskey and several other artists can be purchased online at www.couragecards.org or by calling (763) 520-0211.